In general, there are 2 type of blog, which is the self hosted blog and the managed/hosted blog.
Self hosted blog is solely managed by the user(s) which use web hosting/datacenter service using blog platform such as WordPress, Movable type and etc. This is typically used by serious bloggers and/or one who wants more personalization.
Managed/hosted blog is platform managed by service providers (SPs) such as Blogspot, Tumblr, Squarespace, Typepad, Posterous, WordPress.com, Vox and etc. Managed/hosted blog typically used by casual bloggers (i.e. just for fun, hobby etc) and/or one who wants less hassle in maintaining the blog.
This post will focus on the prominent Managed/hosted blog providers which are (1) WordPress.com, (2) Blogspot and (3) posterous.
WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a platform which offers enough sophistication and suit the rather serious bloggers. It offers varieties of widgets & themes and provides simplicity. Unfortunately to post video, to modify theme (CSS) and to map the user blog with a domain, WordPress.com charges a premium. However, if users are looking for such advance personalization, it is more efficient to go for self hosted blog using WordPress platform.
Blogspot. Blogspot provide both simplicity and advance personalization. In terms of simplicity, user can easily post from email, blackberry and crop (quote) website content (user need to use Chrome for this). In terms of advance personalization, users can install multiple widgets, go commercials and modify the themes layout using CSS. Hence, Blogspot is said as the best managed/hosted blog platform.
Posterous. Posterous aim is simplicity. User can easily post from multiple medium such as Twitter, iPhone, Blackberry and from email. Ahead Posterous will enable more medium for user to post. Aiming for simplicity, Posterous is positioned directly with Tumblr however with so much convenience, Posterous topped Tumblr. Having said above, Posterous is a real match for casual bloggers yet only for those casual bloggers. Bloggers who are looking for more advance features should find WordPress at their choice.
Suggestion for Improvement
Blogspot. Despite provide the personalization to modify theme layout however the themes needs to be hosted by the user themselves using storage accounts such as Humyo, Flickr and etc. This is to ensure the themes to load properly when webpage is displayed. Hence Blogspot or Google (Blogspot holding company) should provide its own storage vault, linked with user accounts and let user to store the themes. Don’t forget, to provide widgets for instant access for theme providers to display. This is to ensure simplicity & convenience where by a click of a button, user can get their theme stored.
WordPress.com. If WordPress.com gives more freedom the advance personalization, it’s a definite that WordPress.com will best Blogspot. Alternatively, if such strategy is unwise on the RoI, WordPress.com at least could lower it pricing
Posterous. Posterous seriously needs to have more themes. Despite, user is having the freedom to edit the CSS layout, not much site offer the custom CSS layout for Posterous. Hence, it is hard for regular user to customize (personalize) their blog layout.